House Plants/Ming Aralia


ming aralia
ming aralia  
Hello,  I took home a cutting of my Aunt's ming aralia about three months ago.  I set it in water and got it to grow roots after a month and then planted it.  About two weeks ago I repotted it (it was growing great, there was one leaf forming) and I think I planted it in harder soil and it started to die.  I took the plant (tiny) out of the soil and it appears that there are no roots.  I am sending a photo because I really can't explain what I am seeing.  I am wondering if I need to place it in water again to root or is too late?  Thank you for your help, Michelle

Hi Michelle,

You made the common mistake of repotting unnecessarily. It was growing well until you repotted. Plants should never be repotted until the pot is entirely filled with roots. Moving a plant to a pot that is too large is an open invitation to root rot.

You now have two options. The first is to set it in water and see if it develops new roots. A better option is to get a very small 2" or 3" pot and fill it with damp peat moss. Insert the cutting so that half is in the soil and half is above the soil. Place it in a bright, warm location and mist the soil every day or so to keep the soil barely damp.

No guarantee either way, but give it a try. Nothing to lose. If it does take hold and start growing foliage, increase the watering slightly and leave it in that same small pot for at least a year.

I have written detailed articles on propagation, repotting and on Ming Aralia care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

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